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Old 05-07-2007, 12:52 AM   #1
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This might seem like a basic question, as most of mine will be for awhile, but I was wondering if all you experienced sailors could give a little advice on which rope is best to tie up a 28' steel sailboat. We are leaving for 4 months to work a summer job in Alaska and are trying to make sure that our list of "to do" things are all done. High on that list is making sure we have the correct lines tying us to the dock. Any advice on things that should be done before we leave besides making sure we have very good lines would also be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:56 AM   #2
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I'm certainly no expert, but...

I believe three strand nylon is the best choice for dock lines because it provides enough stretch to absorb and dampen the shock loads exerted onto your cleats.

My rule of thumb is to carry two lines about the same length of the boat and four lines about half the length of the boat.

I always splice a large eye on one end and whip the other.

120 ft of 1/2 inch dia line would probably do the trick. And if the shop has a hot knife - use it to cut your six pieces of line to length before heading to the check-out counter.

Be sure to add some anti chafe materieals (such as pieces of fire hose) where needed and try to arrange for someone trustworthy to check on your boat for the four months you're away.

Have fun in Alaska!

Kirk
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Old 05-07-2007, 02:25 AM   #3
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Which rope is best to tie up a 28' steel sailboat. High on that list is making sure we have the correct lines tying us to the dock. Any advice on things that should be done before we leave besides making sure we have very good lines would also be greatly appreciated.
To give a reasonably good answer need to know :- what sort of dock and what conditions eg wind, surge, tides etc.. will be experienced by Velella while you are off in Alaska.

For a 28' steel boat - suggest 5/8" x 3 strand nylon (for stretch) for a yacht berthed on one side

of a dock only - 2 spring lines, and 1 bow line and 1 stern line will be needed. Because we don't know the position of cleats on the boat nor those on the dock , only a rough estimate of the total length can be given - a rough guide would be 4 1/2 x 28' . When you buy DON'T cut until you

get the line back to the boat and measure (twice - my grandmother told me) once your are happy with each lines length whip each cut position - leave 1/2 " extruding from the cut and apply flame until the ends of the 3 strands fuse together.

Other tips :- Check Peter Owen's Topic on the subject.

Have a carefree time in Alaska.
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Old 05-07-2007, 02:30 AM   #4
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Make sure that all the sea cocks are closed. And a large sign warning that the engine sea through hull is closed - in case you forget when you come back, or somebody has to start the engine while you're gone.
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Old 05-07-2007, 02:37 AM   #5
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Thank you for the advice. We are tied to the dock on only one side and our bow has two lines running from her. The advice was very similar and if I understand correctly then I should go with, approximately, 120' of 1/2" 3 strand nylon cut into 4 pieces with an eye splice on one end and whipped on the other. I appreciate your help and plan to have a wondrous time in Alaska. My wife and I work at a wilderness lodge up there in the summer. We love what we do...here is the website of the place we work for. http://www.alaskawildernesslodge.com/

George and Deb
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Old 05-07-2007, 04:00 AM   #6
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Chaft protection is a must. I have heard of lines chafing through in ONE storm. A loop of chain on the dock and good protection on the boat is a must. Your lines should be fitted for your dock. You may need loonger. I do, but I have a 26 foot boat and get put into slips too big for me so the long dock lines are needed.
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:08 AM   #7
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I always used nylon but now using poly blend. Better UV properties, cheaper, good stretch and better strength. It lasts longer and is stronger. Downside is it's harder to splice. Thicker ropes last longer then thin ropes...in the sun. A 1/4 inch nylon rope will deteriate much faster then a 5/8" line. Something to do with the number of exposed fibers as a percentage.

As a cruiser I find I need 2 lines twice the boat length and 4 lines the boat length. 2 of these I also use as bridles for anchoring. Lines half the boat length are only good for a marina and a properly sized berth. You can't tahitian moor with these or tie off to a tree on shore. If you go to a marina which uses the loops on the pier, rather then cleats, then the lines are too short to loop back to the boat. a line too long can always be used but a line too short can't.
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Old 05-08-2007, 05:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Velella View Post
Any advice on things that should be done before we leave besides making sure we have very good lines would also be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
You did not mention the proximity (latitude) of where the boat will be docked, or if you have gas or diesel tanks on board. If you do, you may want to consider filling them (allowing for expansion) to minimize condensation, and if appropriate a fuel stabilizer or algae growth inhibitor.

Disconnect the ground cable on each of your battery system. Fill and charge them. It would do them good to be on a trickle charger, solar or otherwise. Or have somebody charge them about once a month for you.

Other things to think about:

Protection against rust, corrosion, and sun.

The potential of rodents or insects coming aboard via the dock lines.

The lodge in Alaska looks very inviting. Have fun, good luck, and check in when you have the time and let us know how it is going up there, on the "Poop Deck' forum.

Jeff
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:26 AM   #9
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Hi Velella,

I understand the thinking behind the advice to disconnect your battery ground. I don't know how your boat is set up, but on my boat this would be a bad idea. I have solar charging to keep my batteries topped up so that my automatic bilge pumps will commence operation in the event of a seawater leak through the hull. Also, if it becomes necessary for any reason for marina staff to be on my boat or to move it due to an impending threat of some sort, I want them to be able to turn on lights and to be able to start the engine quickly. Reliance on 240v/110v is not a good idea...indeed whilst I am away, I disconnect shore power to avoid potential danger and to reduce the risk of galvanic corrosion.

Cheers

David.
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:58 AM   #10
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Auzzee,

Good point about the bilge pump. I was thinking in terms of preventing a steady draw on the batteries, should something happen to be in the ON position, or any other method of steady discharge.

Jeff
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